Doing Home Improvement? Choose Your Project Wisely

Posted by Maurice Attias on

Doing Home Improvement? Choose Your Project Wisely

Embarking on a home improvement project is never easy. You must decide what project to do as well as the cost versus the value of the project. Then you'll have to decide whether to hire someone to do it for you or do it yourself. Fortunately, there are ways to sensibly determine these issues, Artistica explains how.

Deciding on a Project

Your home may need several improvements, but it's up to you to decide which to complete. Your bathroom may desperately need updating, while the siding on your house needs to be replaced. How do you decide what to do first? 

One important factor is the project's cost vs. value. This considers the cost of the home improvement compared to its overall value and benefits once the project is completed. As an example, a kitchen renovation is usually thought of as a good project to improve a home's value. However, it can depend on how involved the remodel is. A minor kitchen remodel offers the highest cost-to-value ratio with a cost recoup of 72 %, while a major kitchen remodel recoups only 54% of the cost. So spending more on a project doesn't necessarily mean it's the best investment. 

Hire Someone or Do It Yourself

If you hire a professional to do it for you, you know the job will be done right, but it will also cost you. If you do it yourself, you'll save a ton of money but may find yourself in over your head. In general, it's a good idea to leave anything that involves plumbing, heating, or electrical work to the professionals. Also, think about safety. If the project can result in serious bodily harm, such as roof repairs, you might want to consider hiring a professional.

Otherwise, if you're handy, you could teach yourself to do just about anything. Just be sure to budget time as well as money, because learning takes a lot of time. You'll also have to balance your work and family responsibilities around the project's work. Hiring a professional eliminates your time investment, since they're working for you. And don't forget: Estimates from a professional are usually free. 

You can also tap into family sweat equity to get help with some of your home improvement projects. Having the whole family join in making updates or cleaning can free up cash you need for pros, and ensures you don’t handle everything yourself. In fact, this is the perfect time to begin an allowance system with your kids. With the chores-for-pay method, you get cheap help and your kids get cash.

What Do Buyers Want?

Even if you're not planning to sell your home anytime soon, it's a good idea to think about your project as if you are. Consider what a potential buyer wants when they're looking at a home. Sometimes your personal tastes may not match those of a potential buyer. A project that looks good to you might not be appealing to someone else.

Another good practice is to take before-and-after photos of the work you've completed. It's always impressive to see how much has changed, and the visuals have a strong impact. Also, keep the receipts for all the work that was done. Not only is it good for your personal records, but potential buyers may want to see them. 

Future Focus

With a little research and careful planning, you can make a smart decision about what project to do and whether to do it yourself or not. The result is a home that's pleasing to you as well as any potential buyers.

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